It sounds like a recipe for a considerable hangover I know but it’s not. Though it has the potential for confusion – I mean I’ll really have to concentrate never mind anyone who happens to read this! Mary Queen of Scots is first of course. The flagstone in the pic sits today in City Square Dundee and after the monastery referred to was destroyed in Reformation days MQS granted land to the burgh for a burial ground. It survives today as the Howff former graveyard and Open Air Museum where City centre office workers flanked by gravestones can be seen enjoying lunchtime sandwiches of a nice day!
MQS was Mary Stewart of course not to be confused with Mary Tudor the original Bloody Mary Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s girl. She was never in Dundee as far as we know so I’m going to ignore her for now! But MQS was pretty bloody too – battles plots assassinations etc. She had the famous four Marys as attendants/ladies in waiting/whatever. Beaton Seaton Hamilton and Carmichael they were. They sound a firm of dodgy solicitors and being close to MQS must also have rather bloody themselves!
Another famous Mary with a significant Dundee connection was Mary Shelley who lived by the Tay for a while due to connections with Baxters the Jute Barons. She is thought to have got the idea for giving (writing?)birth to her boy Frankenstein by observing Dundee’s Whaling Industry. Plenty of blood there!
Mary Slessor whose image today can be seen on £10 notes issued by the Scottish/Australian Clydesdale Bank was a Dundee mill girl who went out to Kalabar as a missionary. and enhanced Education particularly for women. She was not to be messed with apparently or there would be blood.
Last but by no means least Mary Brooksbank was another Dundee mill girl and life long Socialist who campaigned for workers’ rights opposed the slaughter of WW1 and went to jail for her beliefs. There she wrote poetry including the iconic ‘Jute Mill Song.’ She wasn’t afraid to shed blood for the cause. Quite a woman! Now if I were to include the original Bloody Mary that would make nine. Time for a drink!